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Ohio Constitution [ The 1851 Constitution with Amendments to 2015 ]

VIII.02j Vietnam conflict compensation fund

The board of commissioners created by section 8 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution shall, forthwith upon the adoption of this amendment, proceed to issue and sell, from time to time, bonds or notes of the state in such amounts of face value as are necessary to provide the funds, or such part thereof, as may be required to pay the compensation and the expenses of administering this section. The aggregate face value of bonds or notes so issued shall not exceed three hundred million dollars. The full faith and credit of the state is hereby pledged for the payment of such bonds or notes.

All bonds or notes so issued shall mature in not more than fifteen years commencing not later than two years after the respective dates thereof. The bonds or notes shall mature according to schedules set forth by the commissioners but shall not mature more than fifteen years after the date of issue. No bonds or notes shall be issued or bear dates later than the first day of April, 1977.

All bonds or notes shall bear interest at such rates as the commissioners determine and shall be payable semiannually. Such bonds or notes, and the interest thereon are exempt from all taxes levied by the state or any taxing district thereof. At the option of the commissioners, the bonds or notes may be issued subject to call on any interest payment date at par and accrued interest.

All sales of such bonds or notes by the commissioners shall be in accordance with such regulations as the commission adopts and promulgates. Such bonds or notes shall be sold only to the highest bidder or bidders after notice of sale has been published once each week for three consecutive weeks on the same day of each week, the first of such notices being published at least twenty-one full days before the date of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in each of the eight most populous counties in the state. Notices shall state the day, hour and place of the sale, the total face value of the bonds or notes to be sold, their denominations, dates, and the dates of their maturities, information relative to the rates of interest that the bonds or notes will bear, and the dates upon which interest will be payable. The commissioners may reject any or all bids and readvertise and re-offer bonds or notes for sale.

Out of the proceeds of the sale of all bonds or notes, that amount that represents accrued interest, if any, shall be paid into the state treasury into a fund to be known as the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund, and the balance shall be paid into the state treasury into a fund to be known as the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Fund. The General Assembly may appropriate and cause to be paid into the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund or the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Fund, out of the funds in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, such amount as is proper for use, upon order of the commissioners for the purposes for which such funds are created. If the General Assembly appropriates any funds to the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Fund prior to the time the commissioners have issued bonds or notes of the aggregate amount of face value authorized in this section, the aggregate amount of face value of bonds or notes so authorized to be issued shall be reduced by the amount of the funds so appropriated.

On or before the first day of July in each calendar year, the commissioners shall certify to the auditor of state the total amount of funds it determines is necessary to provide, together with all other money that will be available in the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund, for the retirement of bonds or notes and the payment of interest in the ensuing calendar year. The auditor of state shall transfer from the state general revenue fund to the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund, without appropriation, an amount equal to the amount so certified. The Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund shall be paid out without appropriation by the General Assembly, upon the order of the commissioners for the purpose of the payment, or retirement in other manner, of said bonds or notes and interest thereon.

The Vietnam conflict compensation fund shall be paid out upon order of the commissioners, without appropriation by the General Assembly, in payment of the expenses of administering this section, and as compensation as follows: every person, except persons ordered to active duty for training only, who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States at any time between August 5, 1964 and July 1, 1973, or who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States in Vietnam service, and who, at the time of commencing such service, was and had been a resident of the state for at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of such service, and (1) who was separated from such service under honorable conditions, (2) who is still in such service, or (3) who has been retired, is entitled to receive compensation of ten dollars for each month during which such person was in active domestic service during the compensable period, fifteen dollars for each month during which such person was in active foreign service, but not Vietnam service, during the compensable period, and twenty dollars for each month during which such person was in active Vietnam service. The maximum amount of cash payable to any qualified applicant, unless such applicant qualifies for a payment based upon missing in action or prisoner of war status or unless such applicant qualifies for a survivor's payment, is five hundred dollars. No compensation shall be paid under this section to any person who received from another state a bonus or compensation of a like nature or to any person who has not served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States during the compensable period for at least ninety days unless active duty within such compensable period was terminated as a result of injuries or illness sustained in Vietnam service. Compensation for a fraction of a month of service shall be paid on the basis of one-thirtieth of the appropriate monthly amounts for each day of such service. Persons medically discharged or medically retired from service due to combat related disabilities sustained in Vietnam service shall be paid five hundred dollars. Service in the Merchant Marine of the United States shall not be considered for the purpose of this section. As used in this section "domestic service" means service within the territorial limits of the fifty states, excluding sea duty; "foreign service" means service in all other places, excluding Vietnam service; and "Vietnam service" means military service within the Republic of Vietnam during the period between February 28, 1961 through July 1, 1973 or military service in southeast Asia for which hostile fire pay was awarded pursuant to Title 37, Section 310, United States Code, during the period February 28, 1961 through July 1, 1973.

No compensation shall be paid under this section to any person for any periods of time spent under penal confinement during the period of active duty.

Either the surviving spouse, or the surviving child or children, or the surviving parents, including persons standing in loco parentis for one year preceding commencement of service in the armed forces of the United States, of a deceased person shall be paid the same amount of compensation that the deceased would have been entitled to receive under this section, if living. If such deceased person's death is determined by the Veterans Administration of the United States to have been the result of injuries or illness sustained in Vietnam service his survivors as herein designated, are entitled to one thousand dollars, regardless of the amount of compensation which the deceased would have been entitled to receive under this section, if living. The amount of compensation payable to such survivors shall be payable only to one of the three groups of survivors herein designated in the order in which said groups are named.

Every person designated by the United States Department of Defense as missing in action as a result of honorable service or as held in enemy captivity or who is the spouse, or the child, or the parent, including persons standing in loco parentis for one year preceding commencement of service, of a person designated by the Department of Defense as missing in action as a result of honorable service or held in enemy captivity, is entitled to one thousand dollars in lieu of other cash benefits payable under this section. The amount of compensation payable to such claimants for such missing or captive person shall be payable only to one of the groups of claimants herein designated in the order in which said groups are named. No payment to any survivor of a person designated as missing in action as a result of honorable service or held in enemy captivity, while such person is held captive or is missing in action, shall prevent such missing or captive person from claiming and receiving a bonus of an equal amount upon his being released or located.

The General Assembly shall provide by law for an educational assistance bonus which may be taken in lieu of the cash bonus by any person who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and who qualifies for a cash bonus under this section. The educational assistance bonus shall offer financial assistance at any educational institution deemed appropriate by the General Assembly. Such financial assistance shall be equal to twice the amount of the cash bonus for which such person qualifies under this section.

No sale or assignment of any right or claim to compensation under this section shall be valid, no claims of creditors shall be enforceable against rights or claims to or payments of compensation under this section, and no fees shall be charged for services in connection with the prosecution of any right or claim to compensation or the collection of any compensation under this section.

The commissioners shall have complete charge of making payments of the compensation provided for in this section and shall adopt and promulgate regulations governing their procedure in connection therewith, including determinations as to who are proper beneficiaries and the amounts to which such beneficiaries are entitled, determinations as to whether an applicant has the necessary residence requirements, and such other regulations that are necessary and proper. All applications for payment of compensation or educational bonuses under this section shall be made to the commissioners before January 1, 1978.

The commissioners shall select and appoint such legal counsel and employees as are necessary, fix their compensation and prescribe their duties, and all such appointees shall serve at its pleasure. When practical, the commissioners shall employ Vietnam veterans to fill such positions.

The commissioners shall permit review of individual records of claims by representatives of recognized veterans organizations when authorized to do so by the applicant.

There is hereby transferred to the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Fund, for the purpose of defraying the immediate cost of administration and compensation, out of the funds known as the "Korean Conflict Compensation Fund" and the "Korean Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund" created by Section 2d of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution, the balance remaining after provision for payment of all outstanding bonds or notes, coupons, and charges.

The people of this state declare it to be their intention to in no manner affect or change any of the existing provisions of the constitution except as herein set forth. The provisions of this section shall be self executing.

Upon payment of all valid claims for cash compensation made within the limitations of time as prescribed herein, the commissioners may transfer any funds in the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Fund to the Vietnam Conflict Compensation Bond Retirement Fund.

Upon retirement of all of the bonds or notes that may be issued hereunder and the payment of all valid claims for cash compensation made within the limitations of time as prescribed herein, the commissioners of the sinking fund shall make a final report to the General Assembly, and any balance remaining in any of the funds herein created and referred to shall be disposed of as shall be provided by law.

(Adopted Jan. 1, 1974; HJR No.1.)

 
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